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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From what I've read around, it looks like Mazda plans to first implement the new Skyactiv 2 engines in the 3. I haven't found a consensus on when this might happen, though. We were planning to pull the trigger on a new 3 when VW bought back our Dieselgate Jetta, but right before that happened I was diagnosed with stage III colorectal cancer, so we've had too much going on to deal with purchasing a new car -- and we have 2 fully functional cars, anyhow (including my '06 Mazda 3s hatchback that is still humming along and will be handed down to our teenage son when we buy new).

Right now we're tentatively planning to buy a new Mazda 3 in a year or so...we'd really like to wait for the Skyactiv 2 engine. The fuel efficiency of that diesel Jetta sure was nice and I can't make myself go hybrid. I will stop driving manual transmission when it's no longer an available option on any vehicle.
 

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zoomydu, very sorry you are dealing with a serious illness. Best of luck getting through it 100%.

Mazda releases new models in the U.S. a year later than most everywhere else, so if Mazda does meet the media's projection, not going to be here until the 2019 model year.

And as we all know, the auto media love to make predictions, and thus sell more magazine's, but their track record is less than stellar. Additionally, if we each had $1 for every time a car company missed their own internal schedules, we would all be driving Ferraris.

If me, I would be on it being here in the U.S. as a 2020 -- and maybe, just maybe, be positively surprised.
 

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I hope the engine refinement will be OK and they improve the road/tyre noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks -- so far, so good. I'm relatively young and in good shape.

zoomydu, very sorry you are dealing with a serious illness. Best of luck getting through it 100%.

Mazda releases new models in the U.S. a year later than most everywhere else, so if Mazda does meet the media's projection, not going to be here until the 2019 model year.

And as we all know, the auto media love to make predictions, and thus sell more magazine's, but their track record is less than stellar. Additionally, if we each had $1 for every time a car company missed their own internal schedules, we would all be driving Ferraris.

If me, I would be on it being here in the U.S. as a 2020 -- and maybe, just maybe, be positively surprised.
That's kind of what I suspect. I've found articles about the new engine going back several years...but no firm ETA. More recent articles suggest model year 2018, but I'm not getting my hopes up. I'd love to be proven wrong, though!
 

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It looks like we will learn more later this month.

http://www.motoring.com.au/revolutionary-2018-mazda3-engine-design-details-soon-108315/

Mazda is just weeks away from revealing the revolutionary ‘sparkless’ ignition technology that will power the petrol engines in its fourth-generation Mazda3 due in 2018.

First details of Mazda’s industry-first homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) are expected to be revealed at a technology forum in Frankfurt later this month.

In a new product reveal campaign that will echo that of the original CX-5, Mazda’s first SKYACTIV model in 2011, this month’s HCCI tech forum will be followed by the October Tokyo motor show reveal of a small-car concept that previews next year’s all-new Mazda3.

However, while it will bring ground-breaking new ‘SKYACTIV II’ powertrains, the replacement for Mazda’s volume-selling small-car will not be based on an all-new platform

Instead, the 2018 Mazda3 will ride on the same SKYACTIV I platform. This is in line with Mazda’s policy of renewing platforms only every second generation, with a redesigned body (or ‘top hat’) emerging every five years (or so) with each model change.

Hence, again as per the ‘half new’ MkII CX-5, the successor for the MkIII Mazda3 (launched in January 2014, facelifted in July 2016 and pictured here in a design sketch) will be known internally as a ‘6.5-generation’ model.
 

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The details are out now. Mazda is saying 187hp/170lb-ft from the 2.0L. Average gas mileage from all the journalists was 39.9mpg for the automatic which included a mix of city/highway including 100mph on the Autobahn. The mules were also based on the new Mazda3 platform with existing shell.

GTHO! Going In Depth With Mazda's Brilliant Skyactiv X Engine - Technologue - Motor Trend

2020 Mazda 3 prototype first drive: can spark-less engine ignite our passions?

https://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/ro...lans-to-put-the-pressure-on-electric-vehicles
 

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Some more interesting details. (91 RON = 87 Octane)

https://www.carsguide.com.au/car-ne...ear-by-preferring-regular-petrol-over-premium

Set to appear first with the fourth-generation Mazda3 in 2019, the new SkyActiv-X engine's effectiveness actually depends on pre-detonation or knocking, which higher octane petrols like 94 RON E10, 105 RON E85 and 95 RON and 98 RON Premium have been designed to resist.

SkyActiv-X technical research and control system boss Mitsuo Hitomi confirmed that in its ideal guise, the engine's ability to combust petrol through compression ignition will require Regular 91 RON fuel, and any higher octane rating will force the engine to revert to pure spark plug ignition like a conventional engine.

Hitomi-san suggested a partial solution is planned for markets like Europe where 91 RON fuel is scarce or unavailable, which would be supplied with engines using a higher 16:1 compression ratio to enable both compression and spark ignition functions to operate. This spec won't deliver quite the same efficiency gains as the 15:1 compression ratio version delivered to 91 RON-using markets such as Australia, however.

Hitomi-san explained that the ability to measure near-infinite parameters through advances in computer technology is the number one factor that will enable Mazda to produce such a system, with the SkyActiv-X ECU using dual-core processing and a 24 Volt electrical system instead of the usual 12 Volt setup. Also key is the pressure sensor required to accurately measure cylinder pressure during the compression cycle and quickly respond to changing conditions in what is a highly volatile combustion process.

Despite the accuracy required for the SPCCI process, Hitomi-san explained the SkyActiv-X engine will use conventional spark plugs in lieu of expensive bespoke parts, and that recommended service intervals will be no more frequent than existing models. The suggested oil will be no more exotic than that specified for conventional turbos, and the engine will continue to use a timing chain instead of a belt requiring regular replacement.

He also assured that the system has been designed to start reliably from temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius, but the engine will use spark ignition until it reaches operating temperature.
 

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And it looks like the new gen will be a lot quieter.

"With this limited information in mind, the first drive of the development ‘mule’ was extremely encouraging. That distinctive direct-injection clatter that has come to define the existing 2.0-litre petrol was muted at idle.

The Mazda moves away in a naturally effortless manner. Lushly muscular sums it up. We already know that this engine will be an option to an evolved version of today’s 2.0-litre SkyActiv-G, but will it replace the optional 2.5? It’s certainly a sweeter and quieter alternative.

What we can say is how much quieter the prototypes were, although it must be said that there was extra padding everywhere (including in the glovebox) that the company’s staff claimed was put there to replicate the 2019’s models’ stiffer, stronger and quieter yet lighter body.

The new body is said to feature much more high-tensile steel (from 18 to 45 per cent, we hear) as well as new gap-plugging techniques. Whatever the case, these were the most hushed and best-riding Mazdas we can recall.

We cannot say with confidence that the Mazda3 has equalled (let alone eclipsed) the class-leading Volkswagen Golf and Peugeot 308 in this respect, but compared to the 2017 model we drove to the Mazda facility, mechanical, tyre and road noise levels on our Toyo-shod mules seemed substantially cut.

Mazda admitted that the French car was the dynamic benchmark, boasting similar advancements in suspension bush shapes and dampers to provide both agility and suppleness."
 

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That's good news but I wouldn't buy one unless the road noise is substantially less than the current model. I'm unsure whether the torsion beam rear suspension is a good decision - let's wait and see what the test reports say.
 

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Skyactive X 2.0 Driven by Motor Authority (and others)

Mazda allowed some journalists to drive a prototype skyactivX mule. They reported more power and good mileage (given hard driving)


2020 Mazda 3 prototype first drive: can spark-less engines ignite our passions?


Considering these were development engines that won't launch for another two years, the prototypes we drove were remarkably composed. A few inconsistencies in response and rough transitions clearly require more mapping, but the engine felt stronger than current 2.0-liter SkyActiv-G models and well matched to the six-speed manual gearbox and six-speed automatic transmission in the two test cars we drove.
There are a few publications out there today talking about this.

Car and driver have great write up...
http://blog.caranddriver.com/mazdas-gasoline-skyactiv-x-spcci-engine-explained/
The SPCCI whizbangery, as fitted to a 2.0-liter inline-four, is good for about 190 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque.

207lbft from the 2.0 - very nice!!!

"The little company might be relatively lean, but like the Skyactiv-X, it runs mean." - Car and Driver
 

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I agree with the OP regarding retaining a manual.

Two things we've missed on the 3 vs. the Jetta TDI we had: 1. 40.1 mpg overall average fuel economy vs. 35.3 in over 10k miles on the 3 (with 2.5). 2. the high torque of the engine.

Looks as though with Skyactiv 2, we could get both back.

Ralph
 

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Mazda should definitely keep the manual (not saying they will, but they should!) For the 3 and 6. Its one of the easiest things they can do to maintain the driver centric image they are after.
 

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It looks like the throttle response will be even better than existing NA engines.

http://jalopnik.com/mazda-s-holy-grail-of-gasoline-engines-is-completely-1801820285

The other two areas where a lean compression engine can yield significant efficiency benefits is in cooling losses and throttling losses. The first is fairly straightforward, as lower combustion temperatures mean less heat transferred to the cylinder walls.

The second has to do with the fact that a leaner air/fuel mixture means there’s more air required for a given torque level. This—along with strategic use of EGR, variable valve timing and a supercharger to control airflow into the cylinder— means the throttle plate can be held fully open more often than on a standard gasoline engine.

So instead of trying to suck air through a restrictive throttle plate, air can flow easily into the cylinders. Mazda says this also has the added benefit of improved throttle response, since there’s no longer a delay in trying to fill the intake plenum.
 
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